FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – In a hype video that he posted on Instagram for the third round in the P.G.A. Championship at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Saturday, Phil Mickelson announced his goal for today.
He wanted to spend 1000 thumbs-up during the race. Mickelson, known for giving the gesture of celebration, announced that he had practiced his form while bending his thumbs on the wheel of his welcome vehicle. He referred to the process as thumb activation.
"As the wells go down, the thumbs rise," he said.
When he birdied the second and fourth holes, it seemed Mickelson & # 39; s thumbs could get a workout. But then bogeys took off instead. Of the 18 holes he played, Mickelson fascinated half of them to finish with a six-over-par 76 for the day.
He considered the power of the course.
"If you hit a couple of arms and shot like I hit, it punishes you pretty well," he said.
His score was only three shots better than his worst lap at a PGA Championship, the event he won at Baltusrol Golf Club in 2005. Looking for answers, he noted that he might have to adjust his social media game. He had posted another hype video on the Masters on Saturday and was not happy with that performance either.
"It's fun," he said. "I just want to play better."
New Yorkers still cracked him. They remembered his near-successes on this site. In 2002 he finished second at Tiger Woods in the Black States Open in the United States. In 2009 Mickelson tied the second place in another American Open. Lucas Glover claimed that trophy, and Mickelson, who finished second in six U.S. Opens, noted that he was still welcomed by the raw crowd.
"I always enjoyed playing here," Mickelson said. "It is a special environment. The people here are unique and have really given me great memories and moments over the years."
No matter how many fairways Mickelson missed, he fired thumb thumbs all afternoon to the crowd. They called him Filthy Phil and shouted, "We love you, Lefty!" Many asked more to lift his black pants legs to flex his calf muscles, which recently became famous when he was wearing shorts during instructional videos he posted online. Although they asked him who he liked in the Preakness, there was no reason to ask the same from the P.G.A. from this year. Championship: Brooks Koepka had run away with it from the first round on Thursday.
"He plays some notable golf," Mickelson said about Koepka. "It is not an easy test."
With the final round still to go, Mickelson had turned his attention to another investigation that looms at home in California. He noted that the grasses on the greens and fairways this week were similar to those on Pebble Beach, the US site. Open next month. Mickelson has won the Masters three times, the P.G.A. Championship once and the British Open too. At 48, his attention is focused on Pebble Beach as the site where he could collect a sixth major title and complete the career move. The final round is planned for Father's Day, this year is also his birthday.
"There is not much I could do now to redefine my career, but there is one thing I could do, and that is winning a US Open," he said. "If I could do that, it would change the way I saw my career, because there are only five guys who have won all the majors. You have to look at those guys differently, and if I ever joined that audience, redefining my career. "
On Saturday, Mickelson had to settle for the appreciation of the fans for him, despite his repeated shortcomings during the Tour. While Mickelson was preparing for his tee shot at number 18, a fan reminded him that he had made the cut while Woods went home early.
"Tiger who?" Shouted the fan.
Mickelson rode his ball 291 yards in a fairway. From the tee to his ball, he issued 34 thumbs-up and turned left and right to do this. He managed to get right into the hole.
"There is never a wasted round or a wasted shot," he said. "You can learn them all."
Three hours later he published an update on Instagram. As he soaked his left thumb in a container filled with eucalyptus bitter salt, Mickelson reported that he had spent 1397 thumbs-up through his calculation.
"The round was not what we wanted, but we did it," he said. "We've broken the record. We've crushed it."